Walter Dean Myers Essay

796 words - 3 pages

Walter Myers was born August 12, 1937 in Martinsburg, West Virginia but he was raised in Harlem. Walters mother died when he was very young, about 3 years old. His father was very poor. So Walter was raised as a foster child by the Dean family, which is where he gained his 2nd last name. The Dean family moved him to Harlem. Myers gained a habit of writing poetry and short stories.From his foster parents, he received the love that was ultimately to strengthen him, even when he had forgotten its source. His foster mother, a half-Indian and half-German woman, who taught Walter to read, even though she was barely literate. She read to him everyday from True Romance Magazine. Eventually Walter was able to read from magazines or newspapers to her. Also, Walters father and grandfather used to tell him stories. His father would tell scary stories. While his grandfather, a very religious man, would tell stories of the Old Testament.Myers was a good student and he could read well, but he had a downfall; a behavioral problem. He had a speech impediment, and he arrived in school ready to conquer the world, but no one could understand a thing he was saying. That was very frustrating for him, and he responded by being angry.One teacher decided that among many of Walters speech problems, he couldn't pronounce certain words at all. She thought if Walter wrote something, he could use all the words he could pronounce, so she asked him, "Why don't you write something yourself? Whatever you choose to write." Walter began to write short poem, and they helped him because of the rhythms. He also began writing short stories. His writing was the only thing he was praised for in school.Even though Myers had a happy childhood, he understood that his foster family would not be able to send him to college, so he dropped out of high school and joined the army instead. After being discharged, Myers took some courses at the City College of the City University of New York by working a series of jobs. He married his wife Joyce in 1960 and had two children before the family dissolved in divorce.Myers began writing, using a typewriter that his foster father gave him. He then began to write a children's picture...

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